WEST Mercia’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) John Campion has secured around £560,000 of funding to support victims and challenge and change the behaviour of those who are controlling or violent towards loved ones.

The government made available £10 million for PCCs to bid for funds to work with perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Most of the money secured is for a programme in Herefordshire plus one area-wide aimed at supporting abusive teenagers.

An additional £180,545 has been awarded to further support domestic abuse and sexual violence organisations working with victims and survivors as a result of Covid-19.

Mr Campion said: “Putting victims and survivors first is something I will continue to strive for, however we need to start shifting an increased focus towards stopping the abuse from ever happening.

"If we’re going to reduce the number, and severity, of incidences of domestic abuse then we need to target the source and get to the root problem.

“The work already being carried out within West Mercia around challenging perpetrator behaviour has been very successful, which is why I wanted to extend it wider.

"I am pleased government has provided this opportunity and support, and I’m very much looking forward to working with the many partners involved to see this become a success.

"The additional Covid funding is also very welcome, after organisations had to adapt as a result of the pandemic.

"No-one should have to fear that they could become a victim at the hands of their loved one.”

The PCC was awarded funding to specifically roll Drive out in Herefordshire.

This programme works to change the narrative in domestic abuse, so instead of asking of the victim ‘why did they stay?’, the onus is placed on the perpetrator and the question asked is ‘why didn’t they stop?’.

The area of Herefordshire was chosen as it was the largest area of demand outside of Worcestershire.

The Respect Young People programme will work with various organisations across West Mercia and the PCC will be supporting them in undertaking Respect accredited training.

This will ensure that those working within these organisations are better equipped to provide vital support to young people that are abusive or violent towards those close to them.

All programmes will be reviewed at their end.